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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

The Danger of Ice Dams

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage The Danger of Ice Dams Ice Dam

This time of year, icicles can certainly make for a lovely sight hanging off gutters and roofs. However, those shimmery shards can be a sign of something serious: ice dams.

Ice dams are solid ridges of ice that form along the eaves of your home and can form on your roof during cold, snowy weather in the same way icicles do. Those dams can cause major damage to your roof, sometimes tearing off shingles and gutters. They can also force water to back up and spill into your house, causing water damage to your property.

Ice dams are created when heat from your home keeps much of your roof warm. That heat, however, does not extend to the eaves of the roof and those stay cold. So, when it snows, the snow will melt on the area of the roof that is warm and then that melted snow freezes on the cold eaves. That is an ice dam. And then, when it snows again, the snow will melt again on the warm part of the roof and then back up behind the ice dam, sending water under the shingles and into your home.

We don’t have to tell you what happens when water floods into your home. It’s not good.

If you’ve noticed ice dams forming on your roof, there are some quick fixes you can try to prevent damage.

We got these tips from thisoldhouse.com:

  • First, you can rake the ice and snow off your roof using an ice rake.
  • You can purchase heated cables and attach them to the eaves of your roof to melt the ice that’s formed there.
  • Blowing cold air onto your roof is also an option. You can place a box fan in your attic and aim it at the warmer parts of the roof to keep them cooler.
  • You can also try to de-ice the eaves by filling pantyhose with ice melt and placing them on the icy areas of the roof.

These are just quick fixes for ice dams, but there are also steps you can take to solve the problem long term. If you notice ice dams have formed on your roof, you should take photos of the troubled areas of your roof and attic and show them to a professional roofer. They will be able to help you figure out what to do to prevent the dams in the future.

And if you have an issue with ice dams that have sent water into your home, SERVPRO of West Brown County can clean up the mess. Call us at 920-434-8224.

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